Once upon a time, I was at a state conference for student leaders. These were students with really good GPA’s and a great set of extra-curricular activities. These are the type of students that schools really want. So I wasn’t surprised to see admissions people, many of whom I knew, in the hall with booths and pamphlets and offers but I was surprised to see schools that should not have been allowed there. I am talking about for-profit schools. I am talking about Phoenix, DeVry, The Art Institute of (insert city name here), Keiser University, Kaplan, Full Sail University, Strayer University, and Capella. The list goes on and painfully on. For a full list google “list of for- profit universities and colleges.”
Why are they evil? Because they are just out to make a buck. All of these schools are for- profit institutions. Real schools are all non-profit, be they public or private. Harvard has a 26 billion dollar endowment, but it’s a non-profit institution. For-profit schools are all about making money. Many of them are publicly traded on the stock exchange. Publicly traded companies are legally required to do everything possible to make a profit. So their real goal is profit, not education. Their admissions people get a commission for everyone they admit to the school. As such, these schools are much more interested in getting you to join and keep taking classes. Don’t worry if you survive. You’ll get a piece of paper at the end. It just won’t be worth much. For-profit graduation rates are significantly lower than non- profit rates.
Most of these schools aren’t regionally accredited so you can’t move your credits to a real regionally accredited school. Not long ago, I could say that none of these schools were regionally accredited. But alas, these
corporations are as crafty as they are evil. What some of them are doing is
51buying small regionally accredited schools and riding that accreditation for awhile. It’s the strip mining of American higher education. The nationally accredited schools have also been working the referees state by state, region by region. They make a lot of money and they use some of it to lobby for acceptance of their product. But their product is not created equally.
I had lunch with four college deans last summer. They were lamenting the fact that the for-profit schools had successfully lobbied to be accepted into the common course numbering system. Meaning that now they had to accept their credits. So students who couldn’t pass a remedial math course at a community college went down the road to fake for-profit school where they passed easily. In passing though they didn’t get any better at math -- so now they had the credit but not the knowledge needed for future math or science classes. For-profit schools are the educational equivalent of crack dealers. Stay away from them.
Before you make any commitment to a private school make sure they are non-profit. Just google the name of the school and see what google finds. If they are a for-profit school, leave! Do not listen to another word they have to say—just leave. There is a better, cheaper education nearby. For-profit colleges need a large population to support them. If the population is large enough to support a private “for-profit” college then it is also large enough to support a public or private non-profit institution that will offer a better educational value. Yes, the “for-profit” institution will make their program of study sound easier and better but don’t trust them. They are easy but so is smoking crack, and like crack these schools will bankrupt you and leave you feeling broken.